Why Giving Is The Key To Success

Business Network

Recently I read a blog post, like I often do throughout the week. In a sea of sameness, this post stood out. It was a sort of tribute post, crediting a respected HR colleague, Charlie Judy (@HRFishbowl), who coined the term ‘Trench HR’ for the impact he had on another blogger – and our space.

Charlie is the same blogger who gave me a platform for my first blog post, which I later blogged about. He’s the same blogger I’d sit down beside in the SHRM blogger lounge and pick his brain about writing style, frequency, and how to know when you ‘get it right.’ He may not remember those conversations, as I know he’s had an impact on many aspiring bloggers, but the generosity he demonstrated in sharing his expertise so freely made an impact on me. I’m still learning how to become a good writer and blogger. I have a lot of work to do, but knowing I have talented writers in our space to learn from like Charlie, Laurie Ruettimann, Lance Haun, John SumserMatt Charney and others certainly gives me inspiration.

I’m fortunate to encounter that generosity on a regular basis, and it made me think more broadly about this ‘knowledge sharing economy’. We all have passions. We all have expertise and knowledge in particular fields. We all have gaps – things we’re curious about, professionally or personally, where we seek answers and strive to improve. We all play a part in the knowledge share economy.

If you want to be successful in your field, the key is sharing you knowledge freely.

I’ve been the beneficiary of so many friends, peers, mentors, and those I aspire to be like throughout my career. Busy people, who could certainly be doing a lot of things other than spending 30 minutes being peppered by questions from someone trying to learn about their field. I remember, and appreciate, all of them.

Inspired by this knowledge share economy, and how I’ve benefited from it in my career, I make it a point to do my part to give back. I try to share everything I learn (yes, even mistakes), and usually schedule several calls a month meeting new people and seeing how I can help them. We all should. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from those discussions, and you never know when that person you helped might blaze new trails in your field. Chances are there will remember you, and chances are they will pass it on.

6 thoughts on “Why Giving Is The Key To Success

  1. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. ~Luke 6:38

    Yet there are too many in our profession who horde what they have, who withhold information on clients and job information, who covet without giving. These folks try with their actions – and inaction – to drown out the people who freely give at conferences like RecruitDC or on Twitter chats for job seekers.

    Since Charlie reads this: WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO RETURN MY CALL??? 🙂

  2. Lars, I really appreciate the shout out. And I’m really glad you continue to be so influential in this space; you’ve taught me more than you could know. I would say that sharing hasn’t always necessarily come naturally for me. But one of the great things about this community is that people really seek your knowledge out – and do so with genuine interest. I think that’s another important part of this whole message: “ask and you shall receive.” Thanks again, my brother.

    • Such an important closing point, Charlie. I think a lot of people are hesitant to ask for help. They’d be surprised how open people who legitimately care about bettering their field are to helping.

      On that note (and as he’s in this thread), I have to give a shout out to Steve Levy. He’s been doing more to help job seekers than most in this space.

  3. Thanks for the shout out on the post, amigo. I think this is pretty money, and the thing is, you are the most giving person in the recruiting industry. Like, you have an amazing job and are the poster boy for advancing an entire function with actually really impactful and innovative work, and yet you’re never too busy to pick up the phone or return an e-mail, and I wonder how you do it. Because it never ceases to amaze me – or make me feel guilty.

    • Thanks, amigo. You definitely have no reason to feel guilty. You were the first person I reached out to when I was trying to figure how to bring social to NPR’s recruiting efforts. You were generous with your time. You introduced me to Eric Winegardner who let me pick his brain. You invited me to that SHRM dinner where I got to know the who’s who of HR bloggers. You’re one of the smartest and most talented writers in this space. I continue to learn from you.

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